Work starts on £7m hangar the size of two Boeing 737s at Norwich Airport
Work has started on an ambitious project to create a £7m hangar and workshop at Norwich Airport capable of taking two Boeing 737 planes.
The new airside 54,000 sqft hangar and 15,500 sqft workshop is being built to accommodate the expansion of KLM UK engineering group, giving them more space to maintain, service and repair aircraft to customers worldwide.
Details emerged of the complexity of the build which has to comply with CAA, Civil Aviation Authority, rulings and takes into account radar equipment, wind and navigation systems.
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Ian Yallop, chairman of London-based architects Stephen George & Partners, said: "We have been able to apply our extensive experience of large and small-scale industrial units to the project at Norwich Airport, to create a facility that meets KLM UK's engineering needs as well as reinforcing Norwich Airport's position as a leader in aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul.
"The design of this type of project is very technical and requires a detailed knowledge of airport operations. CAA requirements are focused on safeguarding flights and we had to think in a new way - working from the sky downwards and taking into account a range of variables including radar requirements, wind shear and navigation systems."
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He said the facility would be built using a 'Twin-Therm' wall system, with specially designed cladding. A recent ground-breaking ceremony marked the official construction start for Rigby Group plc, the owners of Norwich Airport.
Norwich Airport managing director Richard Pace recently talked about the importance of the investment, saying "KLM UK Engineering is a major employer in Norwich with hundreds of skilled staff.
"This deal underlines its long-term commitment to the region and is another significant milestone in the airport's strategy of creating a global aviation centre of excellence."
KLM UK Engineering, which has been headquartered in Norwich for more than 40 years, currently has five heavy maintenance bays across three hangars at the airport.